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APSN – The activist resource site on Indonesia, East Timor and West Papua. Over 20 years of archived reports and articles. APSN also has an wide range of essential resources, archived news and press releases, links and background reports on the Asia-Pacific region. Site map

News reports translated from Indonesian language news sources.

Police in Ternate violently break up protest commemorating New York Agreement
Suara Papua – August 15, 2018
A peaceful action that was to be held by the Indonesian People's Front for West Papua (FRI-WP) in Ternate, North Maluku, was forcibly broken up by local police on August 15.

Papuans hold simulations rallies in Java and Bali protesting 'illegal' New York Agreement
Suara Papua – August 15, 2018
The Papuan Student Alliance (AMP) and the Indonesian People's Front for West Papua (FRI-WP) have called on all Papuan students through their city committees in Java and Bali to declare that the 1962 New York Agreement was illegal.

Papuan dormitory in Surabaya attacked and vandalised, 49 arrested by police
Suara Papua – August 15, 2018
As many as 49 Papuan students who reside at the Kamasan Papuan Dormitory in the East Java provincial capital of Surabaya were arrested by police this evening and are being held at the Surabaya district police headquarters (Polrestabes).

Criminalised for fighting polluting company, 7 activists to appeal jail sentences
Detik News – August 8, 2018
Seven environmental activists have been put behind bars for fighting against pollution caused the company PT Rayon Utama Makmur (RUM) in Sukoharjo, Central Java.

After 20 years of fighting for justice, missing activist Bimo Petrus' mother dies at 76
Kompas.com – August 6, 2018
Genoneva Misiati (76) is now resting in peace. Her long wait to find her beloved son, Petrus Bima Anugrah or Bimo is over but without success. Bimo Petrus was an activist from the left-wing People's Democratic Party (PRD) who was disappeared along with other pro-democracy activists in 1998. To this day, Bimo's whereabouts remain unknown.

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-Latest News
49 West Papuan students released after police questioning
Radio New Zealand International – August 17, 2018

All 49 West Papuan university students taken in for police questioning in the Indonesian city of Surabaya have been released, according to a legal aid group. The incident on Wednesday night came on the anniversary of the transfer of administration over West Papua to Indonesia.

Indonesian police kill dozens in Asian Games 'clean-up'
The Guardian – August 17, 2018
Police in Jakarta have killed dozens of people as part of an escalating crackdown against petty criminals ahead of the Asian Games, in a campaign Amnesty International has described as "unnecessary and excessive".

Asian Games 2018: Jakarta's desperate battle with pollution falls short as haze hangs over city
Agence France Presse – August 17, 2018
Indonesia is about to open the Asian Games but its traffic-clogged capital Jakarta remains shrouded in a haze of air pollution that threatens to mar the world's second-biggest multi-sport event.

Jokowi to splurge on social assistance, public servants as election looms
Jakarta Globe – August 17, 2018
President Joko "Jokowi" Widodo plans to splurge on social assistance programs and public servants next year, ahead of a crucial election in which he seeks a second term.

Jailed for abortion: the 15-year-old girl failed by Indonesia
The Guardian – August 16, 2018
Fika gave birth alone in her room at night. The baby came out alive. According to her testimony, the 15-year-old from Sumatra cut the umbilical cord with a razor and then the baby went limp and died. She held it up, but it didn't cry.

Ma'ruf 'orchestrated' Jokowi's VP choice, says Mahfud
Jakarta Post – August 15, 2018
Former Constitutional Court chief justice Mahfud MD has said that vice presidential candidate Ma'ruf Amin was behind the statement from Islamic mass organization Nahdlatul Ulama (NU) that "threatened" to withdraw its support for President Joko "Jokowi" Widodo if the incumbent picked Mahfud as his running mate.

-Drunken Republic
Click to view imagesDrunken Republic

The lighter (or darker) side of Indonesian politics.

-Red Flag
Red Flag is the fortnightly newspaper of the Australian socialist organisation Socialist Alternative. More >>

-Statements & Press Releases
Indonesia: Vice presidential candidate has anti-rights record
Human Rights Watch News Release – August 10, 2018
The decision by Indonesian President Joko "Jokowi" Widodo to select Ma'ruf Amin as his vice-presidential running mate in the 2019 presidential election, raises questions about Jokowi's commitment to improve human rights protection for all Indonesians, Human Rights Watch said today.

Indonesia's Papua media blacklist
Human Rights Watch News Release – August 7, 2018
"Why am I now on the Indonesian government blacklist? For how long? For what reason? For going to Papua? This is devastating for me." That was the reaction of Australian graduate student Belinda Lopez on August 4 when immigration authorities informed her she was on an official blacklist and banned from the country.

Australia: Don't prosecute for exposure of misconduct
Human Rights Watch News Release – July 23, 2018
Australian authorities should not prosecute a former Australian spy and his lawyer for exposing government wrongdoing, Human Rights Watch said today. The Magistrates Court in the Australian Capital Territory is scheduled to hold a hearing setting out next steps in the case against barrister Bernard Collaery and "Witness K" on July 25, 2018.

Indonesia: Police and government staff forcibly dispersed movie screening in Papuan students' dormitory
Asian Human Rights Commission Urgent Appeal – July 20, 2018
The Asian Human Rights Commission (AHRC) has received information regarding intimidation, harassment and forced dispersal of a discussion and movie screening organized by Papuan students in their student dormitory in Surabaya, East Java province.

Indonesia: Pre-Asian Games police killing spree
Human Rights Watch News Release – July 18, 2018
Indonesia's government should promptly and impartially investigate a surge of killings of criminal suspects by the Jakarta police, Human Rights Watch said today. Jakarta police data indicates that police killed 11 suspects and wounded 41 others from July 3 to July 12, 2018, for "resisting arrest" as part of an anti-crime campaign linked to the city's preparations to host the 2018 Asian Games next month.

AWPA urges Julie Bishop to raise human rights situation with Jakarta
Australia West Papua Association (Sydney) Media Release – July 18, 2018
AWPA has written to the Australian Foreign Minister concerning recent worrying events in West Papua.

Indonesia: Law enforcement in Papua must respect fair trial and due process principles
Asian Human Rights Commission Statement – July 16, 2018
The Asian Human Rights Commission condemns the unlawful arrest and detention committed by police officers of the Timika Police Office between 9 and 10 June 2018. Five indigenous Papuans were arrested without any arrest warrant.

Statements, press releases, solidarity and urgent appeals are archived under their country specific page/section, which can be selected from the drop-down menu on the left.

News, in-depth reports and analysis focusing on political developments in the Asia Pacific region.

Indonesia: Trade unions' initiative to create alternative political force in Indonesia
ISEAS Perspectives – August 10, 2018
Five trade union confederations organised a conference in April 2018 that brought together like-minded progressive trade unions, non-government organisations, student activists and political groups, to push for an alternative political force which would be independent of the two major power blocs led by President Joko Widodo and Prabowo Subianto.

Indonesia: How corrupt elections fuel the sell-off of Indonesia's natural resources
Mongabay – June 7, 2018
In June this year, elections will take place in 171 districts, provinces and municipalities across Indonesia. On paper, millions of citizens in the world's third-largest democracy will be afforded the right to select leaders with extensive powers over their everyday lives.

Indonesia: Democracy in Indonesia: A progress report
The Foreign Service Journal – May 1, 2018
With a population of more than 260 million and an economy that ranks tenth in the world, Indonesia appears destined to be one of the major international players of the 21st century.

Indonesia: Indonesian domestic helpers on sex abuse, slavery-like conditions they endure working overseas
The Star Online – April 8, 2018
Ernawati made great sacrifices for the well-being of her family. She was married at 14 to a man six years her senior and became the breadwinner two years later, when she first travelled to Saudi Arabia, to work as a domestic helper.

Indonesia: The Muslim Cyber Army: what is it and what does it want?
Indonesia at Melbourne – March 20, 2018
On 1 March, the Indonesian National Police announced the arrest of 14 members of the so-called Muslim Cyber Army (MCA) network for defamation, spreading hoax news and hate speech. Although the name might be familiar to most social media and internet users in Indonesia, it remains a nebulous and poorly understood network.

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Max Lane’s Blog – Commentary and analysis on the history, contemporary politics and culture of Indonesian and its relationships with Australia and the world.

-Earlier this week
Spy row a threat to Australia's ties with Timor-Leste
Straits Times – August 15, 2018
Australian Foreign Minister Julie Bishop has held the position for five years but made her first official visit to Timor-Leste, a country Australia helped found, only two weeks ago.

What might Jokowi's vice presidential pick mean for religious freedom?
Indonesia at Melbourne – August 14, 2018
A few days before President Joko "Jokowi" Widodo was scheduled to announce his running mate in the 2019 presidential election, a statement made by respected scholar of Islam and democracy Azyumardi Azra circulated widely on social media.

Eye on re-election, Widodo plays the Islam card
Asia Times – August 14, 2018
In a country with the world's largest Muslim population of over 228 million adherents, it might seem odd that Indonesian President Joko Widodo is worried about the Islamic vote at next April's simultaneous presidential and legislative elections.

Prabowo's past haunts his electoral future
Asia Times – August 14, 2018
Now that he is again the sole electoral rival to President Joko Widodo, the checkered past of retired special forces general Prabowo Subianto will likely come under another searching examination as Indonesia's 2019 presidential election campaign clicks into high gear.

Prosecutors demand 1.5 years for Buddhist woman on 'azan' blasphemy charge
Jakarta Post – August 14, 2018
A Chinese-Indonesian woman of the Buddhist faith in Tanjung Balai, North Sumatra, faces a possible 1.5-year prison sentence after she was charged with blasphemy for saying that the azan (the Islamic call to prayer) that was blasted from a speaker of a mosque near her house was "too loud" and "hurt" her ear.

Banten sect Jellyfish Kingdom ruffles MUI's feathers
Jakarta Post – August 14, 2018
The Serang Police and the local chapter of the Indonesian Ulema Council (MUI) in Banten are investigating a religious cult called the Jellyfish Kingdom, which locals believe to be "heretical" for their beliefs that Prophet Muhammad was a woman.

NSW Labor to condemn 'inappropriate' prosecution of spy Witness K and his lawyer
The Guardian – August 13, 2018
New South Wales Labor will move a motion to condemn the "entirely inappropriate" prosecution of former spy Witness K and his lawyer, breaking with the silence of their federal colleagues.

Indonesian president's running mate called for LGBTI activities to be criminalized
Gay Star News – August 13, 2018
Human Rights Watch expressed concern about the Indonesian president's running mate, who has a history of clamping down on LGBTI people. Last week President Joko Widodo selected Ma'ruf Amin as his running mate for the 2019 presidential election. Amin is an influential figure in Islamic community.

What Widodo's pick for veep says about Indonesian politics
South China Morning Post – August 11, 2018
As a practising Muslim from a traditional Javanese heartland, President Joko Widodo's Islamic credentials should be beyond question.

Indonesia's Widodo defends falling currency in unconventional ways
Nikkei Asian Review – August 11, 2018
Indonesian President Joko Widodo is deploying series of defensive tactics – some rather unconventional ones – to prevent the sell-off of the country's currency, the rupiah, in financial markets.

Indonesia permanently bans porn images on Google
The Nation – August 11, 2018
Last week, the Communications and Information Ministry announced its plan to filter pornographic content by utilizing the SafeSearch feature in search engine Google.

Indonesian president highlights nationalism, religiosity amid VP pick concerns
Reuters – August 10, 2018
Indonesia's president, Joko Widodo, brandished his nationalist and religious credentials on Friday amid reports he had come under pressure from Islamic party allies to accept a conservative cleric as running mate in next year's election.

Indonesian President Widodo chooses conservative Muslim cleric for running mate
ABC News – August 10, 2018
Indonesian President Joko Widodo has chosen a conservative Muslim cleric who has railed against homosexuality and once issued a fatwa against secularism as his running mate for next year's election.

Prabowo, Sandiaga officially register for presidential race
Jakarta Post – August 10, 2018
After months of uncertainty, Gerindra Party chairman Prabowo Subianto and former Jakarta deputy governor Sandiaga Uno officially registered as presidential and vice presidential candidates at the General Elections Commission (KPU) in Central Jakarta on Friday.

After seemingly walking away, Democrats now officially backing Prabowo-Sandiaga
Coconuts Jakarta – August 10, 2018
The sky did fall on the Democratic Party, metaphorically speaking, following a whirlwind of political drama yesterday. But, despite their disappointments, the party still decided to back Gerindra chairman Prabowo Subianto and his running mate pick, Sandiaga Uno after the pair officially announced their candidacy for April's presidential election last night.

Business expects stability ahead of 2019 election after candidates pick running mates
Jakarta Globe – August 10, 2018
The business sector expects calm and stability to prevail in the period leading up to next year's presidential and legislative elections, following announcements by the two main candidates of their running mates on Thursday (09/08).

A crime of anticommunism
Jacob Magazine – August 9, 2018
Jess Melvin's new book, The Army and the Indonesian Genocide, has been rightly hailed as a breakthrough. Uncovering the actors behind the mass murder of hundreds of thousands of Indonesian leftists (as well as the country's Chinese racial minority), Melvin punctures a hole in the prevailing story about the 1965-66 genocide.

Who is Ma'ruf Amin, Jokowi's running mate?
Jakarta Post – August 9, 2018
President Joko "Jokowi" Widodo announced his running mate on Thursday evening, eventually picking nonpolitical party figure Ma'ruf Amin as his vice presidential candidate.

News archives

  • News reports on Aceh, Indonesia and West Papua are archived in the Indonesia News Digests.
  • News reports on East Timor are archived in the East Timor News Digests.
  • Other news reports are archived under their country specific page/section.
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